A Conversation With God

by Joshua Tilghman on August 22, 2012


Today I am going to depart from the usual subject matter of this blog. Instead of uncovering a hidden meaning beneath the literal text of the Bible, I am going to share one of the most important conversations I have ever had with God. I was both emboldened and humbled by God’s reply, and it is certainly part of the reason I “woke up” from the slumber that I now know was my own unconscious mind. I hope you enjoy…

 

Me: God, I have some important questions to ask you. I really need some answers. I’m going crazy!

God: I’m here.

Me: I have been reading the Bible for a long time now, but I am finally ready to question you on some things that just don’t make sense. Is that okay?

God: I’m listening.

Me: No disrespect, God, but who are you, anyway? I mean, who are you, really? Everyone seems to have a different opinion. Even the Bible seems to disagree on some things.

God: Like?

Me: This might seem a little silly, God, but the Bible seems to say you’re a man? Is that your gender?

God: A man?

Me: The Bible refers to you as “he” and “him” a lot. But that contradicts what Jesus said about you. He said you’re a spirit. And if that’s true, it seems kind of silly for a spirit to have a gender. Jesus said angels don’t marry.

God: Good point.

Me: So…you don’t have a gender. And you’re a spirit. But will I ever be able to see you? I mean, do you have an appearance? Do you look like something?

God: What does the Bible say?

Me: It says you appeared to people in the Old Testament. But then John 1:18 says that “No man hath seen God at any time.” Well, God, which is it? Do you have an appearance or not?

God: What do you think?

Me: I think that if you really had an appearance, it would mean that you were limited.

God: Interesting. Go on.

Me: Well, if you really had an appearance, then you would be limited to that appearance. But God can’t be limited in any way. God is supposed to be infinite.

God: Yes, it seems that God is.

Me: Then I guess that settles it. You don’t have an appearance. You’re infinite.

God: I guess it does.

Me: Excuse me if I say this conversation doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, God. I haven’t really come any closer to understanding you.

God:  I’m still listening.

Me: Alright, well, if you don’t have an appearance, then who are you? I mean, what are you?

God: What do you think?

Me: To be honest, God, I don’t know. It really doesn’t make sense that you could be someone at all—not an individual, not an entity, not a person.

God: Interesting. Explain what you mean.

Me: Well, God, an individual is limited to their own individuality, right?

God: I suppose. Keep going.

Me: I guess what I am trying to say is this: an individual cannot be another individual. For example, President Obama is President Obama. He is not President Bush, nor can he be President Bush. Therefore President Obama is limited to being President Obama. So if you are some type of person, individual, or entity, then you, too, would be limited. Since you’re infinite, you can’t be an individual, a person, or an entity of any kind.

God: You make a good point.

Me: Which brings me to another question, God; the Bible seems to convey you’re in heaven and hell, for the Psalmist says: “If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” So I am supposed to think that you live in heaven and hell?

God: What do you think?

Me: Personally, I think an infinite being such as yourself would have to be everywhere. You’re supposed to be omnipresent, right? And if you’re omnipresent…well, that means you’re everywhere!

God: So it does.

Me: But, God, if you’re everywhere, then that would mean you would have to be a part of everything—the stars, the planets, the mountains, the seas, the people, even down to the tiniest one-celled organism. If you weren’t, you certainly couldn’t be omnipresent, and you certainly couldn’t be infinite. Isn’t that true?

God: Yes, it is.

Me: God, this is really weird because by the way this conversation is going, you’re not turning out to be like the God I have been told about in my Sunday school classes or the sermons of my pastor.

God: Did you really think you could find me in organized religion?

Me: I used to, but it’s pretty clear that I was naïve.

God: Not naïve, just growing. The important thing is that you were searching.

Me: God, may I ask some more questions?

God: You may always ask. I am always listening.

Me: Do you have thoughts?

God: Are you asking me if I think?

Me: I know it seems a bit silly, God. But I’m serious. The Bible says your thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

God: And what do you think?

Me: I think that if you had thoughts, you’d be one big contradiction, because a thought is another limitation. For example, I know that when I am thinking, I can only think of one thing at a time. I can multitask pretty well, but I still can only think of one thought at a time. That’s what a thought is—being cognizant of something, or concentrating on one thing, and we already know a thing is a limitation. But according to your infinite nature you shouldn’t have thoughts at all, since all thoughts are just limitations.

God: Good point.

Me: So how do you do what you do? I mean, thinking is what makes us who we are. It makes us unique and defines our individuality. Our thoughts and memories are us. We use memories everyday to formulate and define who we are. Time also seems to help with this, because humans think in a linear fashion. But you, if you’re infinite in nature, you surely wouldn’t think, and you certainly aren’t within the parameters of time. So what defines you?

God: Do you really think I need to be defined?

Me: I guess not. In fact, it seems you can’t be defined. And that’s confusing.

God: What’s confusing?

Me: Well, let’s see…so far we have established that you’re nothing, nobody, nowhere, at no time. So where does that really leave us? I mean, how do I seek out a relationship with nothing? How do I…get to you?

God: GET to me? If I am nowhere, why would you need to get to me?

Me: Good point, God. So if it’s impossible to get to you, how am I supposed to have a relationship with you?

God: You have already said I am nobody, nowhere, at no time simply because if I were, I would be limited. But since I am not limited, I am none of those. However, everything that there ever was or is arises from me. Everything that comes to be simply IS because of my infinite nature. And that nature is the power of creation. So if everything IS because of me, doesn’t it make sense to know I AM the center of those things?

Me: So you are the center of everything? Is that what you’re saying?

God: Center, essential nature, consciousness, whatever you wish to label it. Yes, I am that which is the BEING of it.

Me: Even me?

God: Even you.

Me: So you are my essential nature, my core. In other words, you are “within” me?

God: Naturally.

Me: So how do I experience that which is “within” me?

God: Easy. Drop the “me” that you think you are.

Me: That’s deep God, but how do you drop yourself? I mean, how do I drop the “me” to experience you?

God: Alright. First let’s examine you. Who do you think you are?

Me: Well, I’m a person. I’m Joshua.

God: And who is Joshua?

Me: Well, I am a father of two children, husband to a beautiful wife, and I teach 4th grade. I like fishing, reading, hiking, and spending time with the family. Sometimes I get lonely, bored, or even scared. I am also…

God: Stop! That’s not who you are.

Me: What do you mean?

God: Is that who you are, or are those labels that you have created to define Joshua?

Me: I guess they are labels that define me.

God: Right. And isn’t Joshua just another label?

Me: Yes.

God: So let me ask again. Who are you? And this time, I do not want to hear who Joshua is. I want to hear who you are. Remember, who you really are gives rise to Joshua, not the other way around.

Me: Well, I guess I really don’t know who I am.

God: And that’s the problem with most of humanity. They have no idea of their true identity.

Me: Which is?

God: Has it occurred to you that you are now asking the same question about yourself that you asked about me?

Me: That’s strange.

God: And that is the problem. Not only do most people not know who I am, but they don’t know themselves, either.

Me: Okay. So who are we?

God: You have already told me, but you are still not conscious of it.

Me: Forgive me God, but I am slow sometimes. Can you please elaborate?

God: Haven’t we already established I AM the center of every “thing?”

Me: Wait a minute, God. Are you saying that the essential me is really you?

God: Let me put it this way. Was there a potential for you to have created something else of your life—different labels? For example, could you have chosen a different college to go to? Could you have chosen a different person to marry? Could you have chosen a different career?

Me: Yes. I guess I could have, potentially.

God: And couldn’t that same potential have created many, many different realities than you have right now?

Me: I guess so.

God: Have you ever considered the possibility that the creative potential—the no “thing” we have talked about—is what’s permanent and real? Has it ever occurred to you that beyond the labels of creation—the physical world and duality— you and I are ONE? Isn’t this what Jesus prayed for you to realize in the Biblical Book of John?

Me: Wow, God! I never thought about it that way. And that makes a lot of sense. But if my essential nature is the infinite potential to create, and that’s what you are God, isn’t that a little blasphemous sounding?

God: I didn’t say Joshua was God. I said your essential nature is God. Joshua is limited and impermanent. Like all things, Joshua will perish. However, your essential nature, the power of creation, is eternal and infinite. Don’t you see? Through your life, I AM that I AM comes to BE, from infinite potential into finite form. This finite form is always limited, and it will always dissolve back into the infinite creative potential of which I AM. And then a new creation will come about. That is my nature. I AM the potential of all creation. I AM the very act of creation itself. And so are you.

Me: Wow, God. That’s almost too much for me to handle. But how do I experience my essential nature? How do I have experience a personal relationship with you?

God: John the Baptist said it perfectly: “I must decrease so that he may increase.” In other words, Joshua must decrease so that I may increase through him.

Me: Now wait a minute, God. Wasn’t John the Baptist talking about Jesus?

God: Was he?

Me: Of course.

God: And who was Jesus?

Me: Well, he’s God.

God: And haven’t we already concluded that your essential nature is God, too. And didn’t Paul say that he labored until Christ be formed “within” you?

Me: Are you telling me that Christ being formed in me is simply another way of saying that I need to experience my essential nature, which is God?

God: Yes.

Me: Well, I guess in a way that does make sense. But…

God: But?

Me: But where does that leave Jesus, as a person? He came to earth to save us, right?

God: Here is the difference between religion and spirituality. Did Jesus come to save you, or did Jesus come to show you the way to salvation? One is a belief and a thought, which we have already established was limited. The other is an experience as ONENESS with me, which is permanent and unchanging, even though the world around you is always changing.

Me: Hmm. That’s a good question. It seems like the latter is the case. I never really did understand why you needed the blood of your son to be appeased. That makes you out to be some horrible sounding monster, and that has never made much sense to me. I always thought true salvation was somehow much deeper than that.

Thank you, God, for the wonderful conversation. I feel so relieved. But I think I need a rest now. I think I’ll go and enjoy just BEING.

God: Welcome home!

 

“Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one…then you shall enter the Kingdom.”

                                                                        —Gospel of Thomas

“The Kingdom of God is within you.”

              —Gospel of Luke

Have a very blessed day!

 

 

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Justin Mazza August 22, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Wow Joshua. Seems like you have a mini book written here. Have you ever thought about taking this idea and perhaps writing a eBook?

Reply

Joshua Tilghman August 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Justin,

I have not thought about this idea, but thanks for the encouragement. And thanks for stopping by.

Reply

Christine Hoeflich August 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Wow, great dialogue Joshua! I love the Gospel of Thomas quote at the end; I can really relate to it. The Gospel of Thomas makes so much sense from the spiritual / higher perspective (as oppsed to the literal, and shallow, perspective). Hope there’s more of this to come…

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Joshua Tilghman August 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Christine,

I love the Gospel of Thomas. I wish Bibles would start including it. People really need to read it to a get a better perspective on what some of the early Christians believed. Thanks for commenting!

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Janet McQuarrie August 23, 2012 at 7:02 am

Hi Josh – I read this post yesterday at work and was mesmerized. You have a way of writing about some of the questions I ask myself all of the time. What struck me was your use of the word “BEING” at the very end. I recently started a daily spiritual practice (meditating with specific music) and I take a few notes after I am done. On Tuesday, I wrote down that the words [I think] I heard were…”Don’t try to figure out the steps. Relax. Just be.” I’m always worried that I am not doing enough to fulfill my Divine Purpose here on earth. Those words, and the post you wrote, give me comfort. Thank you!

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Joshua Tilghman August 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Janet,

What a great spiritual practice! And yes, just BEING is one of the greatest spiritual practices you can do. This is part of the process of quieting the mind. You might already be doing this, but if not, make sure you learn to observe your thoughts without judgements. Set aside time each day for this. After a lot of practice, this will do wanders. Don’t try to understand the process, but definitely practice it. The mind is where everything happens and manifests! Thanks for commenting.

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Suzy August 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

This is incredible! and takes dialogue to a whole new level. It inspires me to drop the me. Thank you so much for sharing this. Yes, a book!

Reply

Joshua Tilghman August 23, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Thanks, Suzy!

Reply

Edit August 24, 2012 at 9:29 am

Wow! Amazing! I often have some conversations with God, every night when I pray. But your experience must have been really spiritual, thanks for sharing this supernatural story!

Reply

Joshua Tilghman August 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

Edit,

My purpose in writing this post was to share the process of learning more about who and what God is (within us and not outside us). My hope is to encourage other people to do the same, and to maybe even connect with those who have had a similar experience. Thanks for the comment!

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Oliver Kaufman September 3, 2012 at 4:55 pm

: ) “God” sounds like the part of me I always talk to, I represent this force as a peaceful white bird – the peace that’s always outside of the emotional turmoil and thinking of “me”, and always very reasonable and as honest as possible. Not sure what to make of that, but it’s kinda cool. You can see more of my inner characters on this page: http://www.theworldwithin.org/characters-within/

Good luck with your blog, and your journey!

Reply

Joshua Tilghman September 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Oliver,

Sounds like you have a pretty good interpretation. Thanks for commenting. Going to check out your blog now.

Reply

deanna May 24, 2015 at 3:51 pm

Hi. This post is a few years old so I’m not sure you’ll see this comment. About six months ago I started a spiritual journey. I am 30, and was raised in the church. The thought of questioning what I was taught felt blasphemous, but at the same time I have always felt something was missing. I started questioning God’s existence and was angry that eternity seemed like it would be nothing more than a nonstop pep rally for the Lord. And that sounded miserably boring. I began to pray in earnest that God would show me some truths, at least the ones my mind was ready to digest. I was meditating one day and my intuition caused me to google something that led to this post. I was bawling by the end because I have had this conversation with God too. Over the past few months my mind has been opened so much.I finally feel like I am understanding, and now that things seem to be falling into place, my love for God is so much more overwhelming than I ever felt before. I just wanted you to know that I feel like I was directed to this post for a reason. It was surreal reading something that felt like I could have written.

Reply

Joshua Tilghman July 23, 2015 at 8:07 pm

Deanna,

Sorry for the long reply. Thanks for sharing a little about you and taking the time to comment here. Blessings.

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Derrick July 7, 2015 at 1:32 am

So this is the same as saying we are God indivualized we are the Light of the world we are the Father indivualized thats why we are creative only we have to get rid of the self we think we are so we can be the christ the one who we really are and he is God personified there is none other than God he said i am the Lord and there is none else names like derrick joshua harry all these do not tell of our true identity only christ is if we are the temple of the holy spirit then he must be our true identity and partake of an eternal reality

Reply

Joshua Tilghman July 19, 2015 at 1:12 pm

You got it Derrick, although the individual identity is still important. I look at it as God experiencing himself through us.

Reply

Derrick March 11, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Yes he is he is us we are him we are on the same page

Reply

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